Ralphie Report: Pittsburgh native and chart-topper, Daya, has local ties to NEPA
It’s rare for a 17-year-old to score a hit on pop radio without the clout of a major record label behind her.
It’s even rarer for that 17-year-old artist to hail from any part of Pennsylvania not called Philadelphia.
And while not “hitting-the-Powerball-jackpot-rare,” it is more unlikely that the aforementioned song on pop radio sung by the 17-year-old is co-written by a guy from Sugarloaf.
Yes, that Sugarloaf; the township in Luzerne County.
Of course I’m talking about Daya, an artist from Pittsburgh with a single called “Hide Away” that is currently 14 on the Nielsen BDS Top 40 airplay chart. Gino Barletta, no stranger to penning songs that hit the airwaves, is a NEPA native and one of the co-writers on the track.
Because there aren’t enough links to the 5-7-0 in this story, Daya also revealed to me during a chat recently that her grandparents used to live in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
The story of “Hide Away” however was a bit more conventional; it was created not in the Keystone State but in Los Angeles.
“It was pretty crazy because before (‘Hide Away’) I’d just written songs by myself with a piano or guitar,” the singer, nee Grace Tandon, said. “It was different to write songs with them but they were really talented and I learned a lot from them.”
By “them” the songstress is referring to Barletta along with Brett McLaughlin, Britten Newbill and the song’s producer, Noisecastle III. As far as Daya’s education, it is continuing both in and out of the recording studio.
“I am a senior (in high school), so I’m finishing up by doing just like this online course and then I can graduate with my class in June,” she explained. “I’m applying for college this fall and then I’ll probably defer because there’s no way that I’ll be there realistically next year.”
Prior to her career taking off, Daya attended classes at Mount Lebanon High School. Other notable alums include pro wrestler Kurt Angle, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and actor Joe Manganiello.
“For the longest time I wanted to do something with medicine,” said Daya when I asked what she might major in; UCLA and NYU are on her short list. “But not really anymore. This is kind of what I’m set on. Let’s all hope this goes well.”
For a 17-year-old from Pittsburgh, so far so good.
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